FinanceAsia affirms ComBank ‘Best Bank’ in Sri Lanka for 9th time

One of Asia’s most respected financial publications has reaffirmed, for the ninth time, its verdict that Commercial Bank of Ceylon is the Best Bank in Sri Lanka.

Announcing the third set of winners of its Country Awards 2019 from Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, the Hong Kong based FinanceAsia magazine said that “as ever, the competition was extremely tight, with numerous financial institutions proving their resilience in the face of volatile financial markets and a more strenuous regulatory environment.”


Commercial Bank’s ninth victory at this prestigious annual awards programme is all the more noteworthy because it has been 11 years since the Bank became the first entity in Sri Lanka to receive the coveted ‘Best Bank’ accolade.

The FinanceAsia Country Awards are based on the respective banks’ performance, encompassing key events of the year, financial results including profits, NPL ratios, provisioning, return on equity, capital adequacy ratios, total assets, loans, deposits, branch network, vision and long-term strategy, market position versus the nearest competitor, principal sources of profit, and feedback of stock market analysts.


Factors that contributed to the 2019 award in the ‘Private Best Bank’ category, are markers from the Bank’s 2018 performance, such as Highest Market Capitalization, Highest Gross Income with an increase of 20.72% over 2017, Highest Operating Income with an increase of 14.57% over 2017, Highest Profit before Tax with an increase of 10.39% over 2017, Highest Profit after Tax with an increase of 5.81% over 2017, Highest Total Assets with an increase of 14% over 2017, Highest Total Deposits with an increase of 15.63% over 2017, Highest Gross Loans with an increase of 17.96% over 2017, Highest Market Share of Deposits, Highest Market Share of Loans, and best CASA Ratio.


Furthermore, the Bank lent Rs 166.3 billion to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 2018, which was a 13.7% increase over the previous year, paid Rs 14.3 billion in taxes to the government, channeled 10.6% of the country’s imports and 18.6% of its exports in 2018, and invested over Rs 410 million for CSR initiatives over the past decade, all of which positively contributed to the economy of the country.


The suite of new products launched in 2018 by the Bank was also pivotal in earning the ‘Best Bank’ accolade.


Tokenised Mastercard Payment Gateway Services, introduction of ‘Flash,’ a fully-fledged Digital Bank Account, the launch of fully-automated cheque deposit machines, launch of UnionPay Cards, ‘WeChat Pay’ acceptance, the launch of a mobile remittance channel between South Korea and Sri Lanka, and facilitating credit card settlements via its Internet Payment Gateway were some of the new initiatives of the Bank in the year of assessment.


Additionally, Commercial Bank joined forces with ‘Alipay’ and WeChat Pay to facilitate QR code based payments for Chinese tourists, and collaborated with ‘RippleNet,’ a global payments network, to leverage Ripple’s Blockchain technology which facilitates both inward and regulator-enabled outward Blockchain technology-powered remittances.


First published in 1996, FinanceAsia is the world’s foremost information source on the Asian financial markets.


Published 11 times a year in Hong Kong, the magazine provides readers with the latest financial trends, interviews, features and investigative reports.


The company is owned by Haymarket Media Limited, the largest privately-owned publishing group in the UK.


Sri Lanka’s most-awarded financial institution, Commercial Bank reported total assets of Rs 1.303 trillion, gross income of Rs 138.049 billion, net profit of Rs 17.5 billion, a deposits base of Rs 983.037 billion and total loans & advances of Rs 861.1 billion at the end of FY 2018.


The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 banks for eight years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 266 branches and 830 ATMs in Sri Lanka.


The Bank has won multiple international and local awards in 2016 and 2017 and over 40 international and local awards in 2018.


Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay PyiTaw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

Last modified on Thursday, 30 May 2019 11:25

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